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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:38 am 
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Perhaps they Deluxe / Sparks could incorporate a Dynafit Sole?

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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:01 am 
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Powder_Rider wrote:
Perhaps they Deluxe / Sparks could incorporate a Dynafit Sole?



Dynafit sole would be useless because soft boots do not offer enough lateral stability for side hilling. Even in strap binding you struggle with lateral stability, take away that support and your boot will fold right over. Dynafit is best left to the hard boots IMHO.


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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:54 pm 
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D+

Not to be negative, because it's good to see innovation of any kind these days, but from a mountaineering standpoint I see only a modest departure from the norm.
I mean what are we really looking to do here?
Are they hard nosed and better for kicking steps?
Are they Dynafit compatible in the toe piece?
Are they Bomber compatible in the heel?
Are they wire bale plate compatible? Stiff in the sole and complete as a whole?
Are they wire bale crampon compatible to ease a change over on a slope?
Do strap on crampons even fit on them? Maybe some.
Do they offer more lateral stiffness for touring? Traversing?
Do they offer a walk mode for the trail?
Do they maybe have a rand?
Releasable?
Or just another compromise...
Something to stuff into yet another external strap system.

Soft boots have there place in the narrow worm holes and pillow lines in the woods, but for more alpine applications I find them bulky, clumsy, and ineffective for the weird situations involved with cutting switchbacks and transitioning to crampons on a slope. Or even trying to fat foot the frozen and narrow boot steps left by the skiers the day before. If you don't find yourself there, then I wouldn't bother either. But all these details matter... I also hear the complaints of most hard boots detracting from the riding, a mechanical bull feel to the descent, rather than the delicate micro balance that a soft boot provides. Most AT or Rando boots are too stiff and do not have enough forward lean, or can't offer the positive preassure to the top of the foot in the right places. Most snowboard hard boots, if you can get your hands on them, are race oriented having too much forward lean, and too tall for general backcountry, and lack a tour mode, or sole that will smear rock like a soft boot. Mountaineering boots do not have a stiff enough sole to hold a plate binding even if a high back could be improvised. I realize this has all bean said on this form at one point or another, and everyone has a different application. It seems to me though, that the industry needs to WAKE UP, and stop handing us these ugly compromises! Just look at the hundreds, thousands of boots produced out there! They are all the same. They use a bulky strap system. Not to rag on Spark, because they have done well with the general standard at the moment, but Have you ever looked at an old Nidecker step in? That was innovation. The plates have a puck system that predates the splitboard, but looks very familiar to the slider pucks Voile and Spark currently use. The base plate itself could even be eliminated. They were releasable, svelte, you didn't even have to stoop to get in. What happened to that stuff? I guess the poor performance of the K2 Clickers turned people away from that idea, but was it not a good concept? Why have the snowboard companies become so dogmatic in it's approach? Two words: Chinese production. Ski companies will never bother either, but somewhere in between there is a solution to all the half mods. I've been modifying boots and bindings for over 11 years now, and found a way to make it work one way or another, but it's upsetting that after all this time no one has fully built out a fully functional mounaineering boot for splitboarding.


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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:30 pm 
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this boot is more than 15 jears old, he had the dynafit pices, the sell it in a set with short ski build by kneissel ... deeluxe tour spark nt.....

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burton

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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:25 pm 
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j~:

" D+

Not to be negative, because it's good to see innovation of any kind these days, but from a mountaineering standpoint I see only a modest departure from the norm.
I mean what are we really looking to do here?
Are they hard nosed and better for kicking steps?"

Actually, yes. My research into this boot has confirmed that it actually has a rigid surlyn (plastic) midsole, so it is stiff, and will climb, kick steps, and crampon better than any typical soft boot, +1 for Deeluxe.

"Are they Dynafit compatible in the toe piece?"

No, a soft boot does not have enough lateral stability to make using a Dynafit toe piece a good option-this is the realm of hard boots.

"Are they Bomber compatible in the heel?
Are they wire bale plate compatible? Stiff in the sole and complete as a whole?"

No, these are soft boots designed for strap bindings, as that is what the market demands. Yes, they do have a stiff sole.
The interview with Xavier claims that they are compatible with clip on crampons, but the pictures show no welt ledges. Have to wait to see actual production samples to be sure. The good news is that the stiff sole will allow for very good performance, even with strap on crampons.

"Are they wire bale crampon compatible to ease a change over on a slope?
Do strap on crampons even fit on them? Maybe some."

See above.

"Do they offer more lateral stiffness for touring? Traversing?"

The stiff sole should offer some benefits here, and the boot is overall a fairly stiff soft boot.

"Do they offer a walk mode for the trail?
Do they maybe have a rand?"

Yes, dual zone lacing essentially allows for walk mode, by being easily able to loosen the cuff of the boot. Rand? Are you planning to be climbing offwidths? Even the best ski mountaineering boots are not randed, as rands add needless weight.

"Releasable?"

Of course not, these are soft boots for strap bindings.

Believe me, I understand where you are coming from. I ride modified AT boots personally because I am not impressed by the current snowboard product available. But, I do believe these Deeluxe boots are a big advance for all backcountry snowboarders. First, they are Deeluxe boots, which makes some of the very best soft boots, second they feature an actual rigid midsole, allowing for far better climbing perfromance, both with crampons and without. Finally, they have a lugged vibram sole with a block heel-this is a critical feature for grip and control in all snow and rock conditions. Yes, they are soft boots in the upper, designed to be used with conventional strap bindings, not with plates, and as such are not applicable to using Dynafit toe pieces. Unfortunately, the market demands traditional soft boots-the resistance of riders against all forms of binding innovation throughout history is well known-step-ins (clicker, switch, etc) all failed to be accepted by riders. Hard boots had some acceptance by freeriders in the 80s (especially in Europe) but were also mostly shunned.
It appears that you would like a snowboard specific, freeride oriented, hardboot to be developed for backcountry riders/splitters/snowboard mountaineers. I agree, but unfortunately this is very unlikely to ever happen. I have had correspondance with the companies capable of producing such a boot (Dynafit, Scarpa, LaSportiva) and all of them have stated that there is not a big enough market to support the development costs of such a boot (Federico from Dynafit suggested that development costs would be 700,000 to 1,000,000 Euro!). In absense of a boot that will never exist, the new Deeluxe Spark is a very welcome development, and it will improve the riding experience for amny backcountry snowboarders.

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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:20 pm 
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burton wrote:
this boot is more than 15 years old, he had the dynafit pices,
Wow! Those are cool!
Shows you that the ski/snowboard industry keeps going in circles. They come up with a good idea and then let it die. I wish I could get boots like this with a step-in type (Switch) binding for ride mode. Seems simple to me. Step-in to tour-mode, step-in to ride-mode. Focus on the boots and not on the interface.

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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:17 am 
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Barrows,

Here's the thing, I just don't buy that the resistance to innovation in hard boot technology is rider driven, but a product of the industry's lack of vision. I don't buy that the market is too small ether. Ten years ago maybe, but last year at a guide training seminar, the splitters out numbered the ATs and telis combined. Hard boots were hated because they were awful designs. I used them the first time I tried snowboarding, and so I initially decided I hated snowboarding all together, haha! They were, and still are, overbuilt. It would not take much of a deviation from a mountaineering or lightweight rando boot to make it work. The bottom line is that trying to traverse on firm snow in a soft set up can be a humiliating experience. I ride rando Dynafit F1's, and they work great because the uppers have a LOT of flex. They could work perfectly without any change in the molding, just a different finish to the strap configuration. It doesn't need to be designed from scratch.


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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:46 pm 
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j~

Like I said, I would love to see a hard boot developed for backcountry snowboarders, so much so, that I have had contacted all the boot companies I feel are suited to producing such a product. None of the companies have any interest, because they feel the market is too small. Are you in the US or Canada? While splitting has grown a lot in North America, it is still not popular in Europe, where AT skiing is a gigantic sport. The North American market is a tiny portion of the AT market in comparison to Europe-if Splitboarding catches on in Europe, these boot companies would change their minds, as there would be money to be made. Right now, with splitboarders (world wide) as a tiny percentage of the backcountry market, the demand just is not there. You can choose to not agree about the size of the potential market, but unless you can convince Dynafit, Scarpa, or LaSportiva that a market exists, it really does not matter what you think.
I also do not agree that existing molds would be adequate. To be really revolutionary, and to convince diehard soft boot riders to try it, a dedicated split/mountaineering boot would need to be built from the ground up. None of the snowboard comapanies have the chops to build such a boot (the closest would be Salomon, and ther recent attempt at an AT boot sucks), the likely candidates are Dynafit, Scarpa, and LaSportiva. I would suggest contacting these companies directly and giving them some encouragement, I do so on a yearly basis.
In the mean time, I have got my dremel, and a bunch of chopped up AT boots, that are riding very, very well once I am through with modifying them!

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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:19 am 
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Found this picture of the boot with a strap on crampon (step in heel).

http://www.yujiro55.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/yujirokondo-deeluxe.jpg

How about making these boots GSB compatible?

http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/crampons/8-g14?binding=5
http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/crampons/7-air_tech?binding=5

Lightweight, no need for the extruded boot, no front bale, faster. Even opens new options for walk mode. Although I do see the obvious problem of getting snow and ice in the required hole on the boot..

Anyone tried anything with these?

NorwegianDan

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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:21 am 
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NorwegianDan wrote:
Found this picture of the boot with a strap on crampon (step in heel).

http://www.yujiro55.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/yujirokondo-deeluxe.jpg

How about making these boots GSB compatible?

http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/crampons/8-g14?binding=5
http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/crampons/7-air_tech?binding=5

Lightweight, no need for the extruded boot, no front bale, faster. Even opens new options for walk mode. Although I do see the obvious problem of getting snow and ice in the required hole on the boot..

Anyone tried anything with these?

NorwegianDan


http://www.rockclimbing.com/images/photos/assets/3/305513-large_scarpagsb.JPG

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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:03 am 
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Spark posted up a studio shot of these on Facebook today.

Image
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spark-RD/171487301612

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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 9:33 am 
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NorwegianDan wrote:
How about making these boots GSB compatible?

http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/crampons/8-g14?binding=5
http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/crampons/7-air_tech?binding=5

Lightweight, no need for the extruded boot, no front bale, faster. Even opens new options for walk mode. Although I do see the obvious problem of getting snow and ice in the required hole on the boot..
This would be amazing!

However obviously it unfortunately doesn't even have a heel welt? So where is the special crampon compatibility then, that is being claimed?


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 Post subject: Re: Spark boots?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 9:40 am 
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This is a reply from Spark when I asked about crampon compatability and sizes


There is actually a version 2.0 now. Only thing appearance wise that is different, is the color of the sole. No more red stripe in there. The rest of the changes were internal.

This years will not have step in crampon capability. (but a little bird told me there are 3 pairs in existence trying it out) The step in crampons ruin pretty much everything in a boot, but we are all working on it.

Everything else in the boot is good. I wear a size 15 in a nike shoe, and much smaller boots. I get 4-5 pairs of Northwave boots a year and wear a 12. In this boot, I am in a 12.5 and doing fine thus far. I have only been testing them, as there are just 15 pairs worldwide right now. But I have about 12 days on the version you pictured.

Stay tuned in June/July for more info and presale startup on our site. $349 MSRP, sizing from Mens 6.0 through mens 12.5.

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